Our lives are increasingly dependent on electricity. Whether we like it or not, we need to be able to plug things in and charge them up. Especially when it comes to communication. And are there world power plugs? Or universal sockets? No.
Mobile phones, laptops and tablets are perhaps the most obvious examples of needing power to stay in touch. From checking our emails to texting, every now and then we need to be near a plug socket for a couple of hours.
If we’re not, the batteries run down and our appliances switch off. And where does that leave us? Out the loop. That’s where.
It’s even more noted when on holiday or travelling. With communication devices becoming more mobile, seemingly by the day, we’re travelling with all manner of devices.
And coming from the UK, that means that pretty much every other country in the world has different plug sockets! Which is why, if you’re crossing any borders, you need a travel adaptor to stay juiced up.
Depending on the nature of your trip and where you are planning on going, your adaptor needs will vary. If you are just travelling to one country on the continent, a simple European adaptor will suffice.
But if you are taking budget adventures that leave you travelling outside of Europe or crossing more than one border, you might need more than one adaptor. Which is where the multi adaptor comes in.
In the UK, the electricity is supplied at a voltage of 220/240V. Some other countries share that voltage but use different plugs to access it. Other countries have a voltage of 100V or 110V. There are many different types of plugs used to access this power across the world.
Plugs of the World
They fall into two main categories: grounded and ungrounded plugs. Grounded are often characterised by having three pins (although not always) and ungrounded have two.
The types of plugs are also categorised by letter. Here in the UK, for example, we use a type G plug. Where as in France they use types C and E. A continental adaptor will convert a G plug into an E or C two-pin plug, so that we can still use the power supply to make our devices work. You can pick these up relatively easily from most electronics shops or at the airport.
Multi adaptors are slightly harder to come by but they are very useful. By accommodating almost every plug design in the letter range, you can plug your UK plug into almost any socket in the world. They should ideally be fitted with a surge adaptor too to protect your equipment.
Sometimes the power supplies in other countries can be a little unpredictable and a surge through the plug could damage your very expensive laptop or tablet. But with surge protection you should be fine.
There’s a couple of adaptors that cover all the bases and a few little extras too.
The Swiss World Travel Mains Adaptor
This functions in a massive 150+ countries around the world. With a selection of different pin settings, you can change it every time you are faced with a new plug. But it also has a USB port so you can charge your iPod straight from the wall. You don’t need to have a laptop to charge, which is really convenient during adventure travel as you may have opted to leave your more expensive electricals at home.
Kingsmart All-in-One Travel Power Plug Adaptor
Covers the UK, US, EU and Australia (and will almost certainly work in a number of other countries too). And the best news is that you can pick up one of these adaptors online for less than a fiver. You really can’t say fairer than that. In fact, just a quick search online and you’ll find loads of really flexible and cheap adaptors to choose from.
A travel adaptor is an essential piece of any modern day traveller’s kit. From professionals on business to gap year students, everybody will need to use the local power supply at some point.
And having an adaptor makes that possible. In the modern world, where staying in touch with people is so important, the adaptor has become more important as the conduit through which this is possible when abroad.
And because they won’t break the bank, you can afford to take a couple with you wherever you go. The last thing you want is to be stuck abroad with no means of charging your phone. You need to stay in the loop.
For more adventure travel info and guides, check out: Adventure Sports Gear: Penknife or Multitool?/ Top 10 travel apps for iPhone, iPad and smartphones / The Ultimate List of Extreme Sports / Airline weight restrictions: what every traveller needs to know/ The Rise of Gastro Adventuring
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